Tim Urban

I like a lot of online thoughts/etc., but this guy has some awesome posts. He thinks for himself, but uses history and common sense so well. His site is wait buy why…very good stuff.

Love the post on spending rest of your life with someone and on religion (multi-posts). He also did a nice review of Elon Musk.

Great stuff. Great Ted Talk he just did in 2016 also.

Life of Riley

It is amazing to me how great life is and how wonderful it is to do the most basic stuff.

Today = Eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Jesus that stuff is incredible. I can’t seem to get over it. Had to have consumed 1000 boxes in my life and every spoonful is pure bliss. Nothing comes close as far as cereal goes.

Also, today, I had a buttered up piece of bread with sugar and cinnamon on it. Holy Christ was it delicious. I was so pleased with it I nearly passed out.

Then for dinner, long spaghetti with Italian Sausage. Wow. Wow!

Food is incredible. What a delight that we get to partake in the texture, smells, tastes and just love the repitition of it. The body shits it out and you get to start again!

Of course, a lot of people eat poorly or are poor and don’t get much food at all…Of course, I think of that am mostly always thankful.

Also, going for walks and jogs – seeing, smelling and moving about freely in atmosphere that is quite awesome…unpolluted, mostly pure and beautiful. Nature is incredible…Gotta spend as much time as possible in it. Indoors is dang nice too – way underappreciated, but when you can get out for an hour or two or three or whatever, gotta do it. Suck it in and enjoy it all!


March 9th, 2015 – Diary Entry, reflecting on readings of yesterday (Kafka, Dillard, Steinbeck, Senaca)

I truly believe in my current status:  Drifting a bit, but absorbing tidbits from smart people … And delightfully enjoying minutes and seconds during the day so very much.  Sometimes I catch myself savoring food that I have eaten my entire life and I simply rejoice internally!  Sometimes even out loud.  Other times I feel the wind or warmth of the sun during a walk and am amazed that I have not distinguished and fully appreciated the fine subtleties of living life in the most precious moments (not sure there are any bad ones?)

Senaca was a Stoic in the 100-200 AD years and was very focused on an appreciation for your time being the key to life. Business and productivity are what most people think they need, but Senaca was clear:  VALUE YOUR TIME!  Your time is very short on this earth and especially the time that you have once you begin to understand the intricacies in your brain, in others and some of the bigger picture revelations in life.  This is truly a person to emulate and understand.

Kafka – I read excerpts from his letter to his Dad – remarkable and interesting. It formulates his troubled upbringing, but also acknowledges it was probably not something to blame anyone for.  However, he wanted to gain mutual understanding of the difficult conditions he perceived while growing up. Unfortunately?, the letter was never delivered to his father as his mother ended up returning it to him. The power of this letter is how it reflects the power the parent has in shaping his child’s future thinking/behavior. It makes me realize how much influence my parent’s had — and fortunately they were not only good with it, but left so much unsaid and uncontrolled that I feel it has helped me be able to explore and think very much completely independently. Contrast Kafka’s childhood issues with Henry Matisse’s – who absolutely cherished his very loving and doting mother that encouraged him to be the incredible artist that he became. He had no hurdles to overcome – unlike Kafka. The formative years are incredibly powerful – but as Kafka reflects in his life’s works – they are not determinative and can be ‘overcome’, enhanced, etc.

DIllard is another Thoreau/Senaca type follower — where the art of looking/taking time to observe the precious world around us is key. This theory resonates consistently in great thinkers and I am quite thrilled to continue to be able to absorb so much of it.

I recently reviewed the many years of ‘famous quotes’ that I compiled on my own and am absolutely in awe of how many are focused on enjoying life as it is … But also  many in you shaping your own destiny with what you want to do in this world.  I also loved Dan Gilbert’s Ted Talk – about happiness and essentially getting to the age old point that Shakespeare once said “Nothing is good or bad, except thinking that makes it so” – but clearly there is some refinement that need to be made.

My task for this year is to better reflect upon my core beliefs and focuses and continue to evolve exactly whether I have any future missions beyond seizing each moment possible as an absolute gift filled with awe and joy . . . Somehow I think writing is in my future, despite my inabilities (Steinbeck had much troubles in writing his great work . . . But I don’t think a novel is my genre anyway…)


It further asks:

Think about something you’ve done and accomplished. It could be this year or 30 years ago. Ideally pick one of your most proud accomplishments to date. What is it? Who were you with? What were you doing? What actions caused you to experience the success you did? How did it feel? Did it positively impact anyone else?

Not sure.  Great to reflect on this though.  It is funny but retiring at age 46 had not quite felt like a proud accomplishment (not that anyone was thinking it should be…) Feels more like relief and makes me filled with gratitude, but also makes me wonder what I missed?!?  Wow!

I am the type of person who lives the next day and does not reflect enough…I always feel I have ‘accomplished’ very little, but yet I know that is not true.

While it is not truly something I have done and accomplished, I would say helping nurture and play with 2 very awesome kids probably is number 1.  Obviously, I am not trying to take full credit, but it is very fun and rewarding.

I am going to take this question more off-line and think a bit more….

Living the Legend – Assignment 1: What really makes you angry about the world

Extremism = intense religion and ideology that is often associated with religion and/or incredibly one-sided political views.  Basically this comes down to somebody who is supremely self-righteous or that person may find a particular charismatic person (who they believe is ‘right’) without generally thinking about the full situation.  It is sad it happens, but understandable especially for the disenfranchised and for those who see no way to succeed or get out of poverty.  Of course, in the U.S. religion and politics is more watered down.  Extremism, even politically, is less pronounced in the U.S. though.

I am generally not an angry person, but it is still rather upsetting when innocent people are killed in the name of extremist movements.  Of course, I could slam Islam, but Christianity and other groups have killed, raped, etc. over time.  Islam is not quite as old as Christianity, so perhaps they will grow out of it too.

It seems that people don’t use their brains as well as they should, but often it is the very young adults (maybe not fully developed brains?) that are making headlines or at that have their extremism lead to committing heinous acts against humanity.

It seems that this issue is currently most prevalent where economic opportunity and overall freedoms are very limited.  If we can help to remove these barriers, perhaps the problems (and my slight anger!) will subside.

On Writing

I have always believed that writing is the best way to get your thoughts straight.  But, honestly, have not done that enough.  It is amazing how putting your thoughts on paper might crystalize a course of action or make you think again.  Without this step, the action is haphazard.  Writing it down makes you ponder and sort through.

Today I have finally decided to devote more time to the writing process. Inspired by a video on Ted Talks – by Scott.  He recommends a paid blog, but not sure why I would do that – seems this is sufficient.  I don’t care if others look and quite honestly, am not ready for that.

Anyway, writing seems so important and I am intending to do this at least somewhat routinely from this day forward.  I had probably written 10 times last year in a MS Word document, but will focus on at least twice a week.  That seems very doable.

I am hopeful it leads to more concrete and focused thoughts and a path to a future of ongoing fun and joy.  Thanks to Scott and Ted Talks.  Learning is awesome, but learning and writing is probably even better!

Thoughts on understanding (my)self

So, truly this is a journal of sorts, this blog post.  It seems like a good way to memorialize my thoughts that could be shared, but currently I am not doing that.

The self is such an interesting reality.  We humans, alone, think like we do.  We are conscious – but only when we chose to be.  That is a blessing – but also that blessing often creates quite a conundrum.  We often think we know how the world works and that our way is righteous — but that is just like most everyone else.  Instead we have to focus on outside of those parameters and on the absolute present moment.

The most awesome advice of being conscious and using the blessing comes form Eckhart Tolle – in “The Presence of Now” – this book is very insightful and interesting on how to focus on the “Now”.  Not to judge.  Not to overthink.  Recognize the omnipresent Ego that is always trying to prove we are so great.  Live in the moment.  It is often repeated time over time, but Tolle espouses the virtues of living in the “Now” incredibly well.

Day 1

People – they are the best, but, my whole life I was always around them.  I did not have much alone time.  With 4 siblings it did not happen much pre-18.  I was in sports and worked nearly all of my early years, and it seems as though those things meant I was always busy and around people.  Then off to college and involved in everything.  Then on to full-time work, charity-stuff, friends, marriage, kids.  All of that seemed on steroids until I hit 47.  Then I decide to quit my ‘great corporate job.’  All of this was great, but, now, since November (Kammer got a job), I have had real ‘alone’ time — roughly 4 hours a day, 5 days a week.  It is truly amazing.  Solitude.  Peaceful meditation.  Focused Yoga.  Reading.  Yelling.  Laughing.  Daydreaming.  I have almost never done these things.  I thought (not really) being alone might create loneliness – but for me – unabashed joy!